Caitlin Keat, COO5 June 2020
Take a moment and just be. Look around and take notice of your surroundings. Really notice them. The feel of your clothing, the smell of the air in your nostrils, the color of the sky. Now pause and notice your feelings and the amount of information you’re taking in, has it changed? Are you seeing the world around you differently? Are you seeing more of the world around?
That is the power of awareness. We spend so much of our days going from task to task, from one have-to-do to the next, in this head down “git ‘r done” approach to life. If we can remember to step back and observe more, we have the power to change our lives.
In my last post we talked about how we can change our negative thoughts to positive. This is important when we can easily identify our negative thoughts. Sometimes it’s easy to identify these thoughts as negative but more often life is more subtle than that. So, today we’ll talk about the importance of observing your thoughts, not labeling them, and the power this awareness brings.
How do we know that goal we set is healthy? How can really assess if the people in our lives bring energy or take it away? To truly know the answer to that we often have to just be with our thoughts. Let them roam through our head and spiral from one to the next. Try not to hold on to any one thought, try not to judge your thoughts or change them. Observe where each though goes, when you get stuck on a thought, and how you’re feeling. If you can just observe for a while you might hear messages from your body, your brain, and your heart that you’ve been ignoring.
This power can extend behind your mind, into the world and your reactions with people. The most successful people I know are able to use this to deeply assess the world around them and their impact on it. It’s not always easy work, especially when you see things you aren’t happy with, but it’s important work. If we go through every day making assumptions on how people perceive us, we will be the proverbial bull in the china shop. We will knock people over with our actions and our words and then blame others for the mess on the ground.
The bull analogy extends beyond our social interactions into interactions with our physical surroundings. Especially in the veterinary profession it is important to be aware of the space you are in. The ER, the OR, and the exam room contain sensitive equipment, often fragile patients and sometimes their fragile humans. It’s important to take a moment every time you walk into a new room or new situation, to take an awareness pause. As we talked about at the start use every one of your senses to truly be aware of your surroundings. It will help you to walk into that situation with a sense of calm and confidence that will carry to others.
As we look at the world around us and use the power of our awareness, I cannot leave this post without addressing our current explosion of public awareness. I am grateful to see so many of us starting to do the hard work of addressing our prejudices. We are born into a country that has molded our thoughts and our feelings in a way that is deeply ingrained. It will take us years and decades as individuals and as a country to begin to address this and to undo this damage.
It will take hard work, and it will take us being aware, over and over again, in every situation where we can learn something new. I know that we all have this power and I hope that you will begin to shape it, to sharpen it, and use your power to uplift others.